(Closed) What can I do for victims of a house fire? Advice??

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 17
Member
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@lalalyanne:  SUPER random but i know which fire your talking about and i live in your city. Not to be creepy or anything but when i saw your thread title it reminded me of what happened yesterday so i clicked and lo and behold… anyways very sad situation. 

Post # 18
Member
850 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@lalalyanne:  When our place went up we need time to think first, the insurers said they would put us up in a hotel till it was fixed (we were lucky it wasnt the whole house) but hotles are not warm friendly places. What we valued most was all the invites we got from friends and family for family meals. Much better to warm the heart than a hotel.

Post # 19
Member
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@lalalyanne:  I agree with the pps that gift cards are the best way to go. Offers of babysitting and home cooked meals are great and I’m sure they’d help a ton, but what this family really needs is clothes, furniture, bedding, etc. The chances are they can get food and a little babysitting if they’re staying with a friend so I’d focus on helping them rebuild their lives in other ways if you can. 

Post # 21
Member
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@lalalyanne:  You are a good person for this.  I will second the gift card idea as the best one mentioned.  After a big tragidy, people like giving “stuff” because it makes them (the giver) feel better.  But when the people who just lost their house have no place to put the stuff they get, that can be hard on them.  Now that the house is gone, they are likely living out of a hotel or with family.  In either situation, collecting “stuff” just creates another burden.  They don’t want to get rid of what people are being so great and getting them, but they also may not want/need what other people give, and have limited space to put stuff.  They will also have to move what ever they get eventually, and moving can be a pain. 

The Red Cross in times of big emergencies often begs people not to send stuff, but money.  The people in these situations know how best to spend the money and what can do them the most good. 

Post # 22
Member
11520 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@lalalyanne:  gift cards – for essentials like clothing and food, but even get them movie tickets or something fun.  These kids have been through something awful, they need some fun.  Also, you could cook for them, bring over meals like soups or casseroles.

Hopefully their home insurance will come through quickly and they’ll have money to replace things.

Post # 23
Member
7413 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think the best thing you can do is to help put them in touch with a social worker or someone from the Red Cross or a similar outreach organization.  Clothes and gift cards definitely help, but the family are probably still in shock. They have a long road before them. Having someone who knows how the insurance process works, and what community resources are there for them in terms of housing/food/clothing, and knows how to navigate all the paperwork and red tape, is priceless and probably the single most powerful thing you can do.

Post # 24
Member
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@lalalyanne:  We we’re driving to my SIL’s house the next street over and my Darling Husband goes: house fire!! By the time we saw it the firetrucks were there… i just couldn’t imagine. There was a house fire yesterday in Logan Lake too. Very sad. I saw on our local mom swap group there is a thread going of people donating to the family. So sad… i lietterally couldn’t imagine. 

Also… no worries about the stalking, i have an 8 week old baby too busy right now to stalk… Only kidding! I’ve never found someone on the bee from where we live so its kinda awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hello Friendliest Friend from my town!

Post # 25
Member
1863 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My family’s home burned when I was 12.  It’s the scariest thing in the world.  As a former victim, THANK YOU for stepping up to help this family. 

One of the best things that people did for us was bring the stuff no one else would think of.  Dog food, toothbrushes, notebooks/journals (more on this later), cameras (as much as it hurts now, they will want the photos later!) books, blankets, etc.  One family went and chose new stuffed animals for each of us kids.  Even though I was 12 at the time and more people thought I was too old for them, I still have the Beanie Baby puppy they gave me.  Another family brought us journals that they picked for each of us and again, I still have that with the memories from this summer.  Books/games/toys/movies for the kids.  Their lives are going to take awhile to get back to normal. 

Offer to pay for a storage unit for them to store all of the gifts that they get so they don’t feel like they have to store it all wherever they stay.  Make sure they’re in contact with your local Red Cross.  They can house them right after the fire or help with rent on a new place for about a month (I used to intern for the Red Cross, most chapters have fire assistance programs). 

Gift cards are great, but homemade meals are awesome.  Set up a schedule though so that they get meals for 2-3 days, and then a night off to eat leftovers, etc.  

Gas cards are HUGE.  It’s going to take a lot of driving around to figure out where to go, meet with insurance agents, etc.  

Finally, people to listen and to walk through the trenches with you are the best.  We had people sitting in our yard, ripping photos out of my mom’s albums so that we could save 14 years of photos.  We didn’t ask them too, they just jumped in to do it and we still have those.  or the people who would come and paint our new house, take us out for dinner during the building process, etc.  It means SO much. 

Post # 26
Member
1863 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My family’s home burned when I was 12.  It’s the scariest thing in the world.  As a former victim, THANK YOU for stepping up to help this family. 

One of the best things that people did for us was bring the stuff no one else would think of.  Dog food, toothbrushes, notebooks/journals (more on this later), cameras (as much as it hurts now, they will want the photos later!) books, blankets, etc.  One family went and chose new stuffed animals for each of us kids.  Even though I was 12 at the time and more people thought I was too old for them, I still have the Beanie Baby puppy they gave me.  Another family brought us journals that they picked for each of us and again, I still have that with the memories from this summer.  Books/games/toys/movies for the kids.  Their lives are going to take awhile to get back to normal. 

Offer to pay for a storage unit for them to store all of the gifts that they get so they don’t feel like they have to store it all wherever they stay.  Make sure they’re in contact with your local Red Cross.  They can house them right after the fire or help with rent on a new place for about a month (I used to intern for the Red Cross, most chapters have fire assistance programs). 

Gift cards are great, but homemade meals are awesome.  Set up a schedule though so that they get meals for 2-3 days, and then a night off to eat leftovers, etc.  

Gas cards are HUGE.  It’s going to take a lot of driving around to figure out where to go, meet with insurance agents, etc.  

Finally, people to listen and to walk through the trenches with you are the best.  We had people sitting in our yard, ripping photos out of my mom’s albums so that we could save 14 years of photos.  We didn’t ask them too, they just jumped in to do it and we still have those.  or the people who would come and paint our new house, take us out for dinner during the building process, etc.  It means SO much. 

Post # 28
Member
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Bracelet00:  what a beautiful idea!!!! love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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